Alyssa Sellers


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Because Even in a Group You Can Feel Totally Alone

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Alone.

I was in the middle of a three-day camping trip with 50 other people from my church whom I know and love and I felt alone.

It was Saturday; the second morning of our camping adventure and a new wave of friends joined us during the night. I arrived on Thursday afternoon along with three families with kids and one other singleton. Now, in addition, there were married couples without kids, couples at various stages of their dating relationships and a smattering of singles.

I was sharing an old-school canvas tent that I nicknamed Big Top, with a rotating cast of single ladies because most could stay one night but not another. When I woke up on that second morning I walked down the hill passing the tents containing the 50 some odd members of our group, out of the camp site and down the road to the day use picnic area. Continue reading

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Dream On

I am a part of this awesome church called The Groves.

If you know me, that sentence carries a lot of weight.
A. Because I don’t just go throwing compliments around. If I say, it I mean it.
B. Because I don’t take publicly aligning myself with people, places, things or ideas lightly.
C. Because I have a lot of opinions, some of which are about churches.

All that being said, I love my church. Thanks in part to some excellent sandwich board marketing I stumbled into a Groves Sunday service a year ago today. By the time I left that afternoon, I knew I was home. Since I moved here 8 years ago, my heart has been for my neighbors in downtown Portland. I want them to know what true, unconditional, never-ending love is, that, that love is God and through his son Jesus, brokenness is transformed into good. The Groves shares my heartbeat.

Dream+Weaver

Yesterday in our Sunday service we continued our journey through Genesis and read about Joseph’s dream. And while I tried hard to get the vision of Donny Osmond in a technicolor dream coat out of my mind, Paul and Sunia spoke about God dreams. Here’s my take away: Joseph’s dream eventually came true but this was after his character was developed enough to catch up to it. A number of people scoffed at his dream and were pretty mean about it. But you can’t hold a good God dream down. Mary the mother of Jesus had a God dream, too. She was a little more reserved in whom she told and found encouragement in her cousin. Over time God prepared both Joseph and Mary for the actualization of their dreams.

The Groves Church is full of dreamers. I am one of them. Sometimes I encounter scoffers, oftentimes my scoffer is myself. Lately lies have tried to swoop in and snuff out my dreams. But, yesterday, I was once again reminded that I can’t let them. A couple of weeks ago I began a practice of beginning my day with dancing. I get up, turn on some tunes and shake out the lies. It’s a good time my friends. You should try it. One of my favorites, Florence + the Machine, sings it well, “It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off.”